Something for everyone
IntroductionPart of Morocco’s charm is that it has the variety and flexibility to cater for everyone. From independent adventurers to couples, and from families looking for a safe, clean base with plenty to do to businesses looking for the ideal location for a corporate event.
FamiliesMany families will find the custom-built beach resort at Agadir ideal as a base. Not only is it a modern, developed town, it is also home to some of Morocco’s biggest all-inclusives, which are a perfect option for families who want activities laid on day and night.
Agadir is by no means the only option, however. There are family-friendly resorts up and down the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts, and if your children are adventurous types you’ll find that even the wildest parts of the interior have something to offer. Many dromedary hikes into the Saharan desert, for example, are suitable for families.
RomanceWith its beautiful landscapes, intimate hidden places and exotic tastes and scents, Morocco is an incomparable destination for any kind of romantic break. Whether it’s a two-week honeymoon tour or a simple long weekend with someone special; whether you want peace and privacy or excitement and activity, you can be assured of exactly the kind of experience you and your partner desire.
Below are some of Morocco’s most romantic towns and cities.
AsilahLovers of art and architecture will be instantly seduced by Asilah. From its ramparts, built by the Portuguese in the fifteenth century, to its houses decorated with colourful frescoes, everything about the town expresses a gentle, unassuming creativity. The narrow streets of its medina are full of art studios and galleries, and come alive during the town’s big summer festival. Just outside the town is a handful or gorgeous beaches to hide away on.
If romance to you means a modern, cosmopolitan city, look no further than Casablanca. With its wide boulevards, exotically-planted parks, busy squares and public fountains it has a grandeur and energy that rival those of any European city. Add to that a series of sandy beaches along the Atlantic, lively nightlife, magnificent architecture and a well-developed spa and wellness culture and you have the perfect destination for a romantic city break.
ChefchaouenChefchaouen lies in the picturesque Rif region, in a unique spot between the sea and the mountains. Virtually unspoilt, it boasts a celebrated medina whose whitewashed walls and blue doors seem to soften the sunlight as they reflect it, creating an atmosphere of stillness and serenity. Whether you make Chefchaouen the base for a quiet, intimate holiday or come on a romantic day trip, you are guaranteed a memory that will last a lifetime.
El HoceimaAl Hoceima is one of Morocco’s most enchanting towns, and will be paradise to anyone whose idea of romance is to be in the midst of natural beauty. Its cliff top location on the Mediterranean coast overlooks a huge natural park and a bay fringed with fine sandy beaches and hidden creeks. Local animal life includes dolphins, flamingos, woodpeckers and much more, while the nearby Bokkoyas hills offer fabulous walking country.
El JadidaEl Jadida combines culture, nature and romance. Home to many historical monuments, it is also surrounded by magnificent beaches and perfumed by pines and eucalyptus trees. Take a walk among the ruins that recall the town’s period under Portuguese rule, explore beautiful Oualidia lagoon or lie back on Sidi Abed beach, a favourite with surfers. If you’re here for the Moulay Abdellah Amghar moussem (August), don’t miss the vivid horse-riding fantasias.
EssaouiraEssaouira has always drawn travellers and sailors, artists and musicians; part of its romantic charm is its colour and variety. Visitors can enjoy its festivals of Andalusian and Gnawa music, take long evening walks along its stunning Portuguese ramparts and get pleasurably lost in its unique, bustling medina. On top of that, it has a superb climate and a number of excellent beaches from which to watch the sun set over the nearby Purple Islands.
If romance to you is mysterious streets and ancient buildings, head to Fez. As well as being home to some of the finest monuments in the country, it has an intoxicating souk whose unique, lively atmosphere is perfumed by leather and spices. Fez is also great place to indulge yourself – local relaxation and well-being techniques, practiced in modern spas or traditional hammams, will enhance the mood of peace and romance that naturally infuses any visit to this imperial city.
IfraneDespite – or rather because of – its position high in the Atlas, Ifrane is equally romantic at any time of year. Couples can ski together in winter or enjoy hikes and picnics in summer, all in some of the most graceful natural scenery in all Morocco. Ifrane itself has the atmosphere and appearance of a quaint Alpine town, and its surrounding countryside is dotted with oaks, cedars and beautiful mountain lakes.
MarrakechMarrakech is a vivid, richly cultured town that appeals directly to the senses. If this sounds like your idea of a romantic break you’ll revel in the sights and smells of Jamaâ El-Fna square, the cool and perfumed mazes of the souks, the grand imperial buildings and the electric atmosphere of the nightclubs. Marrakech is particularly celebrated for its riads and hammams, so make sure their calm, secluded atmospheres are part of your stay.
RabatRabat’s clean, modern new town has wide avenues and charming cafés, while its old town is a calm, beautiful place with white houses and magnificent gardens. The Andalusian-style gardens and quiet streets of the Oudayas Kasbah are particularly impressive, while the Chellah necropolis, an ancient Merenid tomb site, is surrounded by a beautiful natural garden. Don’t miss the ancient Hassan Tower and imposing Mohamed V mausoleum.
SafiSafi is for craft fanatics and beach lovers. One of the Moroccan capitals of ceramics, it is renowned for its dark blue pottery and is home to the National Ceramics Museum, which you’ll find in the Kechla, a former Portuguese fortress built in the sixteenth century. The building’s affords great views of the town, port and medina. Safi’s golden beaches are perfect for sea fishing, sailing or surfing.
SaïdiaWant to get away from it all? Saidia is one of the most peaceful, beautiful spots on the shores of the Mediterranean, flanked by 18km of fine sandy beaches that are lined with eucalyptus and mimosa. West of the town, at the mouth of the Moulouya, is a superb natural bird sanctuary, while to the southeast lie the spectacular Béni-Snassen mountains, where you will find the fantastic sheer walls and rugged caves of the Zegzel gorges.
TangierTangier, the white city on the very edge of Africa, will intoxicate lovers of literature and the arts. It has a range of colours, an atmosphere and a quality of light that are all utterly distinctive, and visitors will be intrigued to follow in the footsteps of writers and artists like Paul Bowles and Eugene Delacroix. Tangier’s modern boulevards are lined with art deco houses, while its medina preserves older, more traditional buildings.
TétouanTétouan, at the foot of the Rif chain, lies between the mountains and the sea. Its unique character is drawn from its dual Hispanic and Moorish heritage, which is reflected in its whitewashed, mosaic-covered walls. Here restaurants serve tapas as well as tajines. The town’s busy medina is now on the UNESCO world heritage list. Tetouan is a place of character, charm and history, and is perfect to explore in the company of a loved one.
There is no need to be an expert in tradition to join in the celebrations, however. The ceremony is controlled by “Négafates”, women who are perfectly familiar with customs and who guide participants through the festivities.
Moroccan weddings are truly dazzling, and it is by no means unusual for foreigners to come here to get married. However, you will need an affidavit translated into Arabic (contact your Moroccan Embassy) and you will need to inform the local government office for the area in which you wish to marry. It is therefore advisable to organize your ceremony through a specialist operator or with a hotel that offers its own wedding service.
Business and incentive travelIf you’re travelling on business you’re likely to be travelling to Casablanca, where 60% of Morocco’s companies are based. The good news is that city’s modern facilities and infrastructure, from a reliable transport system to opulent business suites in grand hotels, mean that meetings, seminars and conferences are not just a success but a pleasure. Casablanca’s character is evident from the moment you step into Mohammed V International Airport: like the new arrivals area, it is clean, stylish and ultra-modern, with all the conveniences you’d expect from an international hub of economic activity.
While most business meetings will indeed take place in Casablanca, the wide availability of meeting rooms and business facilities in major hotels means that corporate holidays or incentive trips can take place in any of Morocco’s cities. Marrakech is an especially popular destination, offering a range of activities, inspiring surroundings and great nightlife. And away from the strategy meetings and presentations hiking, trekking and rafting in the Atlas present natural team-building exercises – indeed, so distinctive and vivid an experience is Morocco that it cannot fail to create a bond between those who discover it together.
Now try answering the following questions. Good luck!
For more information or to request promotional material for your agency, contact the Moroccan National Tourist Office.
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